SCHREI MICH NICHT AN, KRIEGER!
From April 28 to July 30, 2017, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is presenting a spatial sculpture by the artist Lena Henke. In the work specially created for the Schirn Rotunda entitled Schrei mich nicht an, Krieger! (Don’t Shout at Me, Warrior!), the sculptor reacts to the specific conditions of this freely accessible public space. Henke sees the Rotunda as a space in which interior and exterior merge in a very distinct way—as the entrance to the Schirn, as an exhibition space, and as an element of urban architecture between the Cathedral and the Römer. In her installation Henke concentrates on this ambivalent capacity of the space, thereby creating an awareness of the unique character of the location. In the two opposing entrances to the Rotunda, the artist positions two aluminium sculptures that are open at the top and filled with sand. It is not clear at first how this sand came to be in and on top of the objects. Henke guides the viewer’s gaze through a system of colors, which accentuates the architecture upwards to the open windows of the circular galleries surrounding the Rotunda. There sand is also placed and trickles outwards and into the sculptures through coarse-meshed metal rolling grills. The visitors can stroll round the galleries and walk through the sand, hence influencing the circulation as well. At the same time, from up there the form of the objects in the Rotunda becomes visible: they are two oversized eyes. The association of sand in the eye—an unpleasant feeling involving discomfort and pain—suggests itself. In her works, the artist combines topics such as architecture, public space, and urban planning with subjective experiences. Her starting material is the site as she encounters it; she heightens it and stages it in a perceivable way. Thus Henke transforms the Schirn Rotunda into a walkable and constantly changing spatial sculpture in which inside and outside merge. In her formal language and her use of materials she makes deliberate references, in particular to modern and recent art history, bringing together Surrealism and Minimal Art. By consciously investigating traditional artistic strategies and aesthetic concepts, Henke creates new visual experiences and contexts of meaning. The change of perspective is an important element in her works and essential for the insight into things and into life itself. Her works can be read as a self-confident statement of contemporary art, which is given additional expression in the powerful title of her work for the Schirn.
• Catalouge concept: Michael Satter
• Graphic design: Michael Satter
• Editors: Katharina Dohm
• Publisher: Schirn, Verlag für Moderne Kunst
• Authors: Katharina Dohm, Philipp Demandt
• Photography: Wolfgang Günzel, Topical Cream
• Year: 2017
• Format: 230 x 300 mm
• Pages: 56
• Typeface: Helvetica
• Print: Offset
• Binding: saddle stitched
• Printer: Pöge Druck, Leipzig